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Summer Shimming

by Jeremy Johnson | May 31, 2019 8:04:43 AM

If
your family is like mine it’s time to get out and enjoy the nice weather. We
love hitting our favorite camping spot or just taking a Sunday drive enjoying
the beautiful scenery Idaho has to offer. But we all know the car isn’t going
too far without a trip to the gas station.  Most of us pull up, jump out and put our card
in the reader without even thinking twice; but is that reader safe or could
that quick insert cost you?

Skimming
occurs when scammers insert a device into ATMs or other terminals, harvesting
your payment information as you swipe your credit or debit card. Scammers
succeeded with this tactic for a while, but skimmers don't work for cards with
newer chip technology.

Better
Business Bureau has found that as technology advances, scammers are coming up
with new ways to get your money or information. Con artists' newest trick to
steal payment information is called "shimming." Scammers insert a
shim —a paper-thin, card-sized device with an embedded microchip and flash
storage —into the slot where you enter the chip side of your credit or debit
cart.

When
you insert your card at a gas pump, ATM, or another card reader, it copies and
saves your payment information. Then, scammers return with a special card that
collects the stolen information, such as your PIN and card number. They use
this information to make purchases with your account information.

According
to the National Association for Convenience Stores over 29 million customers
pay for fuel with a credit or debit card. When shimming occurs at a gas
station, it usually takes place at only one pump. A single compromised pump can
capture data from 30 to 100 cards per day.

So
how do we prevent being a victim of this scam? Information from creditcards.com
indicates some gas station credit card skimming victims have, in hindsight,
remembered that the card reader had, “a weird feeling like the slot had been
tampered with.” The Better Business Bureau suggests if the reader seems to have
a tighter than normal grip on your card, there could be a shim inside. You may
want to cancel your transaction and notify the business.

Also,
if possible try using tap and go features on your credit card instead of
inserting your card. Its also best to pay with a credit card, as it’s easier to
dispute fraudulent charges.

Read more about credit card scams at BBB.org/ScamTips.

If you've fallen victim to this type of scam, help others avoid being scammed by filing a report with BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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